The benefits of natural light

According to a YouGov survey of 1000 people, 1 in 3 want more natural light in their office space. Working in dark and artificially lit conditions can have a big impact on mood and emotion, as reported by the Journal of Sleep and Sleep Disorders Research. A negative mental state has the power to impact the productivity and quality of employees’ work, but over the last few years, offices have begun to move away from traditional dimly lit spaces. Many employers are opting to offer bigger, lighter spaces with pops of vibrant colour to boost the mood.

 

Think about colour

Many offices may struggle to get more natural light into the room, as not everyone has the luxury of moving to a space with bigger windows and skylights. In these situations your best bet is choosing brightly coloured office furniture and decor to create a sunny environment inside the room as well as out. Utilising colour psychology can be a great help, but it’s important to stick to a limited palette so that the room isn’t too overwhelming. Bright whites or sunny, warmer yellows can help create the effect of natural light and make people happier. It is important however to use white carefully as it can be too clinical and have the opposite effect, bland greys and stark whites are linked to depression.

 

Shine on

Adding mirrors or reflective surfaces into the office can also help boost the amount of light in a space. Perforated metal can function as a filter to natural light, shifting sunlight to keep an interior cooler. Also, instead of boxing employees into grey cubicles, glass partitioning or feature partitioning is a consideration. These give them a sense of focus, but don’t create dark holes where they feel disconnected from the office and from the light.

 

Positioning of furniture

Unless you’re unlucky enough to be working in a basement office or warehouse facility, chances are your office will have some existing windows. Consider optimised furniture layouts, external light shelves and the careful positioning of shared breakout spaces. There is a wide range of opportunities for increasing daylight amenity to the most frequently occupied work areas. We found a very interesting article that talks not only about why daylight matters and gives a strong argument for employee equality when it comes to design considerations around natural light in the office.

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